New £9m computer system at city centre hospitals
A NEW £9 million computer system has been installed at Bristol's city centre hospitals to improve efficiency when patients turn up for their appointments.
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHBristol), which runs Bristol Royal Infirmary, St Michael's and the children's hospital, has hailed the implementation of the new computer system as a success.
However some patients who have turned up at accident and emergency since the transfer to the new Medway computer system claim they had to wait longer than usual to be seen by hospital staff. And they told the Post that reception staff had blamed the delays on the computer system, which was stating patients had been discharged before they had even been triaged – something the trust in charge of the hospital denies.
The new computer system, which cost £1.2 million to install on top of an £8.2m seven-year contract, has been brought in to improve access to patient records across the eight city centre hospitals and South Bristol Community Hospital. Patient information is stored on several different systems at the hospital trust but with Medway, staff can now access all the information they need about a patient in one place with a single search. The trust's director of finance, Paul Mapson, said that the system also helps staff make timely decisions and ultimately improve patient care. He said that the information technology team at the hospitals had been working on the transfer to the new computer system for the past year with staff training, open days and demonstrations.
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The new system is being installed less than six months after managers at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals did the same thing.
But, as the Post reported earlier this year, the £3.9 million transfer to the Cerner Millennium system at North Bristol NHS Trust caused problems when some information was incorrectly copied across from the old system to the new one. Patients turned up for appointments that had not been logged on the system and were turned away without surgery because their notes were not available. The issues have now been dealt with and an independent review is being carried out into the implementation of the system.
Mr Mapson said: "Over the coming months, the trust will be rolling out more functions within the core Medway modules and through the clinician desktop. This will provide an even more comprehensive system that can be used by all staff to access the patient information they need. The completion of the Medway project will provide a firm foundation for the next phases of the trust's ambitious clinical systems implementation programme.
"I would like to thank every member of staff involved in this project for their dedication and hard work in making sure the implementation was a success."
A hospital spokeswoman insisted there had been no reports of problems with the new system in A&E.
She said: "We encourage our staff to report any concerns they may have so that we can work together to resolve them. This issue has not been reported and following investigation we do not recognise this claim."
If you've had a problem at Bristol's city centre hospitals which has been blamed on the computer system, contact The Post newsdesk.